Inequality for All (BM, RR, & DD)

Today’s piece holds a lot of critical thoughts about our faulty economy and politics. It analyses the economic faults we need to fix. I thought I shared the below excellent Bill Moyers interview of Robert Reich before, but I can’t find this earlier share. So, maybe I didn’t. Anyway, this is a good interview to watch (and discuss) about the topic of our flawed economy, even if I may have shared it earlier, say on a Video Weekend. Here is the video clip itself plus a bit of meaningful commentary I just wrote, followed by Reich’s 2013 documentary film and some more commentary distilling and digesting the most important points he makes:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for “Moyers & Company” and the title: “Inequality for All”)

Robert Reich reminds us of the old idea of upward mobility rewarding guts and gumption. It’s a traditional concept for excusing and edifying our socio-economic system, the idea of a meritocracy. Not only have we fallen far behind other countries (like European countries) in this rags-to-riches story, as Robert Reich reminds us in this interview, but I also feel that there is something else wrong with it: namely, in my opinion, this philosophy of everything being just fine when upward mobility exists, warps society towards greed and socially irresponsible callousness. It warps it in favor of greedy, materialistic people, especially those who have absolutely no concern for others (or very lightly put such concerns aside) and will do anything – even destroy livelihoods and kill people with abandon – in order to rise in wealth. I am completely in agreement with Pope Francis when he deplores our societies’ loss of human values in the wake of making everything to be just about money.  Continue reading

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Proper Reaction to Charlottesville: A Cool-Headed Perspective Instead of Wild Sectarian Hysteria (JD)

The Jimmy Dore Show: Jimmy Dore and Tim Black talking sense:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “What People Are Missing About Charlottesville Protest”)

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America Must Radicalize – But in the Correct Direction

Over the last three or four decades, our nation has steadily declined. Furthermore, the fire sale of our country – and of the democracy that we need so badly to take it back – is not slowing down but reaching a feverish frenzy. We, the people, must therefore act quickly and with resolution. In other words, any clinging to the false hope of gradual improvement, with a small reform here and a tiny tinkering there, is a most stupid stance which ignores the ongoing fire sale and which we no longer have the luxury to believe in. Gradualism has proven itself a false promise, an insincere voter pacification, over the course of those dismal decades that saw our country go down the drain as our politicians from both major parties talked a good game but sold us out to wealthy special interests behind closed doors. Instead of hoping for gradual change-for-the-better to come from the people who have been selling us out, we must go after the root problems, which is to say: we must radicalize.

Continue reading

America’s Aristocrats Outlaw Free Speech All Over the U.S.A.

That’s right. This isn’t 18th century news from King George’s American colonies. I didn’t just step out of a time machine. This is the news now! In at least ten states free speech, at least in the form of public protests, has already been criminalized and outlawed (perhaps 20 by now, as such people-silencing legislation keeps getting introduced all over the country (but thankfully sometimes fails)). With this flurry of attacks, I find exact numbers of the current state hard to come by in these highly turbulent times where this topic often doesn’t get the attention it should, not even on the alternative media. This issue is far too important not to keep our eyes open, though. Here is an article someone wrote with many links in it to references, if you wish to dig a little deeper: Crackdown in the States. I don’t know its author, Chip Gibbons, enough to vouch for him, but the many links in his article suggest credibility to me.

In addition, here is a telling, short TED Talk:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Will Potter: The shocking move to criminalize nonviolent protest”)

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Video Weekend 7/8/2017: “Democratic Party” Sinking, the “Patriotic Millionaires,” Devious “Reforms,” and our Oligarchs’ Global Empire (8 Videos)

A wide range of topics awaits you this video weekend:

Hundreds of billions of tax gifts to the super-rich (who can’t even feel them), paid for by cuts to Medicaid among other things and another devious calculation (4 billion dollars saved by letting 200,000 older people die early in the next ten years):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Who Will Win the Coming Democratic Civil War? “)

By the way, I contacted the Patriotic Millionaires, proposing they help finance my work. I wanted to see how serious they are, and give my financial betters the chance to put their money where their mouths are. I never heard back. One of many indications that people at or near the top who talk a good game don’t necessarily walk much of the walk, and that those who benefit from our society’s rigging may be willing to place a band-aid here or there, or perform a little tweak, but don’t really want to fix the system.

 

The “Democratic” Party Digging its Own Grave:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Julian Assange Explains Why The Democrats Are Doomed”)

Quote: “The Democrat establishment needs the support of the security sector and media barons to push this diversionary conspiracy agenda…” (He is referring to the – so far still baseless – Russiagate hysteria.)

 

Richard D. Wolff on gentrification, legalization of gambling and marijuana as a way of not taxing the rich, betrayal of the American voter, free trade, deregulation, tax cuts for the rich and gutting of welfare to allegedly make the poor work harder, anti-governmental revenge politics… BITTER politics… This video is about an hour long and starts out a bit slow, but towards the middle and the end there come really valuable news and sharp insights:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Economic Update: Capitalism’s Self-Destruction”)

 

And now to a much overlooked and ignored, but very important, topic:

It is high time we take a look at how our oligarchs not only rig the system in our country but the rest of their global empire, as well. I have occasionally exposed our oligarchs’ dark deeds in the Middle East before and once also shown a light on Venezuela. Venezuela is actually far more important than most U.S. Americans currently realize. Venezuela has the largest oil reserves on the planet! Let that sink in! It also replaced classical dictatorship back in 1958 with a political system mirroring ours: three branches, two corrupt parties passing power between them and enriching their own (and their plutocrat cronies’) pockets while the majority of the nation became ever more impoverished. Then, Hugo Chavez sparked off a political revolution. That’s correct! A political, not an armed revolution. He was their Bernie Sanders, not the awful “dictator” as which our corporate media kept defaming him! Venezuela apparently has clean elections (unlike us!!!), confirmed by hundreds of international observers! Venezuela (constantly decried in our corporate media as a despotic commie country) actually has it written in its constitution that the people (yes, the people, not unreliable, bribable representatives in Congress) can impeach the president and trigger an automatic election. All they need is enough signatures. Imagine that!

Now, when you put all these things together, you get a mix of circumstances which practically SCREAMS for intervention by our oligarchs, to secure the oil and stamp out the kind of political revolution that might topple them from their own thrones right here at home in the States if it were to leak over our border and catch on here.

Let that sink in! And so, unsurprisingly, our oligarchs have been putting pressure on Venezuela ever since they realized that Hugo Chavez wasn’t just talk but the real deal.

This is what that looks like when they don’t stage an outright military invasion (like they so often do in the Middle East) but prefer to try regime change closer to home in the Americas through infiltration and financing rebel-rousing insurrection by local plutocrats:

An introductory summary:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Abby Martin: World Ignores Opposition Violence at Venezuela Protests”)

If you want more detail on these violent opposition actions, you can watch this coverage: Empire Files: Abby Martin Meets the Venezuelan Opposition

If you want more detail on our oligarch’s hand in all this, their usurping and misusing millions of our tax dollars through institutions like the USAID and the “National Endowment for Democracy” to kill democracy elsewhere under the false banner of fighting FOR democracy (that’s how we have been hoodwinked for ages), you can learn more here:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Why the CIA Won’t Give Up on Venezuela | Interview with Eva Golinger”)

And here is an interview with one of those alleged despots (Venezuela’s Economy Minister):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Empire Files: Venezuela Economy Minister—Sabotage, Not Socialism, is the Problem”)

In conclusion, you might want to watch (perhaps for the second time?) this summary, previously served up on this site — Tariq Ali’s very insightful, comprehensive summary on what has been happening in Venezuela:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Global Empire – Crisis in Venezuela”)


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Catching up on the News and Activism 6/20/2017: Trumpcare, Medicare for All, Gerrymandering, Jail Injustice…

Trumpcare 2.0 – They are trying to sneak it quietly through the Senate

From Reuters and other sources emerges: “Democratic” Senators criticize the closed-door meetings that Republicans have been holding to craft a replacement for Obamacare (as you know, even worse than Obamacare). They are calling for open committee hearings and more time to consider the bill before a Senate vote, which Republicans say could come in the next two weeks, although a draft bill has yet to emerge publicly.  Continue reading

Trump’s First Hundred Days of War Crimes | CounterPunch

CounterPunch Magazine tends to have good articles. The just published Trump’s First Hundred Days of War Crimes is far more worth reading than the title suggests, as it is not yet another insincere resist-Trump-to-distract-us-from-the-source-of-our-problems “news” piece or op-ed. Continue reading

We Better Don’t Overlook the Fundamental Enemy of Democracy and Justice

Richard Wolff compresses it into nine minutes (and I into a short written paragraph following the video):

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Richard Wolff: Why Efforts To End Inequality Will Fail”) Continue reading

Why Our U.S. Democracy is no Democracy (PS)

Democracy assumes (quite rightly) that power corrupts, at least in most cases, and leads to abuse. Democracy’s cure for this is to prevent the concentration of power by distributing it to as many people as possible. When they act in their self interest, the interests of the many, even of everybody, are taken care of — as opposed to only the interests of a few callous rulers.

But is that what we have? Continue reading…

 

Warping Democracy Here, There, and Everywhere

Sometimes it is useful to look over our borders to see how things are going in other countries. It can be like looking into a mirror, or it can provide a contrast which illuminates our own defects or foreshadows future developments that might be coming our way. Continue reading